Antonow An-24. 1966.

Kraków 2008-10-26

Antonov An-24 transport plane.

202b Tally 1966-10-20.

Hardly anyone remembers that the Antonow An-24 planes were used in Poland not only by LOT Polish Airlines, but also by the Military Aviation. The fact that the An-24 aircraft was used as an LSD (flying command post) is also little known. In general, the Antonov An-24 airliner was a successful design and the An-26 transport aircraft was built on its basis. Both types of aircraft were operated in Poland.

Antonov An-24 SP-LTK. 1973. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Antonov An-24 SP-LTK. 1973. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman


The Li-2, Ił-12 and Ił-14 airplanes launched into operation did not meet the expectations of the users. Too weak power units and, above all, the lack of pressurized cabins for the crew and passengers resulted in significant operational limitations. It was necessary to construct new planes devoid of these drawbacks. It was not that simple, however. In the West, separate military and civil planes were built. Only military planes were built at CCCP. The only office that dealt with the construction of a military-civil aircraft was the office headed by Dr. Oleg Antonov. Officially, work on the new plane began in 1958. The goal was to develop a twin-engine cargo plane that could also carry passengers.

When designing the transport plane, the latest trends in global aviation were used. It was noticed that due to the use of a propeller drive (with an increasingly larger diameter of the propellers), transport planes had high cabin floors. While for passengers it is only a few steps more the gangway, for heavy loads it requires lifting them to a considerable height. The right solution, then, is to build planes in upper-lobe and even back-lobe systems. The floor of the cabin (hold) was much lower. This solution also made it possible to move the engines under the wing, instead of placing them above or in front of the wing as before. These two basic solutions made the operation of the engines on the ground easier, as access to the most important equipment required lower platforms, and could even be done without them.

For propulsion, it was decided to use turboprop engines, which have much more power than reciprocating units, and at the same time consume less fuel than turbojet engines.

The first prototype of the new aircraft was flown on December 20, 1959, and the pilots were J. Kurlin and G. Łysenko. In April 1960, the first flight was made by the complete passenger version. In 1963, the aircraft entered service. The production was significant and in 1967, it exceeded 1,100 units. To this number, we must add several hundred machines made in China under the designation Y-7.

The plane was built in many versions and variations. The basic version was the passenger version marked as An-24 W, taking 44-52 passengers on board. Here is a small correction; in Russian, the letter W looks like Polish B, which is why the descriptions of the Antonov-24 B version follow.

During the production of the An-24 aircraft, numerous changes were made. Among other things, in the rear of the fuselage, instead of one aerodynamic steering wheel, two were used. Wing flaps have been modified. New AI-24 A engines with a power of 2 x 1,902 kW were used.

The An-24 RW version is a version of the An-24 W, which is equipped with an additional RU-19-300 turbojet engine in the right nacelle, in place of the starting turbine used so far. This engine is a typical APU engine. This engine acts as a starter for turboprop engines and supports thrust during take-off or flight. Thanks to this solution, it is possible to operate airplanes at high-mountain airports with an altitude of 3,000 m above sea level and at an air temperature of up to + 30 degrees C.

The An-24 T version is a transport version with a raised door in the rear, lower part of the fuselage. The plane was equipped with an electric ceiling crane and a floor conveyor. The loading hatch can be opened during flight.

The An-24 RT version is the An-24 T version equipped with an additional turbojet engine. The An-24 aircraft were in use in many countries. Still in 2005. many small shipping companies have used them.

An-24 for the Polish Army. 1966.

In 1966, the state authorities decided to buy the first two An-24 W planes for the transport of important personalities (VIP) and include them in the fleet operated by the 36th Special Air Transport Regiment in Okęcie. On October 20, 1966, both aircraft were delivered to Poland, and were marked with An-24 W No. 67302801 nb 011 and No. 67302802 nb 012.

In the margin. VIP is an abbreviation of the angelic phrase Very Important Person - a very important person. Of course, no one is surprised today by this abbreviation and it is widely known. Under communism, however, it would have been unthinkable to use such a phrase. It was said - The plane is very important.

After a short period of use, on April 3, 1969, these aircraft were transferred to LOT Polish Airlines, where they received SP-LTO registrations and the proper name Odra as well as SP-LTP and the proper name Poprad.

On August 10, 1968, the third An-24 W plane, no. 87304504 nb 014, was delivered to the 36th SPLT in Warsaw. As a curiosity, the nb 013 was not sent. This specimen served the longest of all An-24 military. On January 29, 1977, it was transferred to PLL LOT and received SP-LTZ registration. After some time, he returned to service in the army, which converted him into a flying command post. Its operation ended in 1992.

On December 24, 1969 (when the Polish Army had only one An-24 W at its disposal), two new An-24 W no.97305701 nb 011 (again) and no.97305702 nb 012 (again) were delivered to the 36 SPLT. The first of these aircraft, on October 10, 1973, was transferred to LOT Polish Airlines, where it received SP-LTT registration and the name Noteć. This second plane crashed on February 28, 1973.

The last An-24 W No. 97306007 nb 015 was received by the army on May 26, 1970, and after four years of operation, on June 27, 1974, it was transferred to LOT Polish Airlines, where it received SP-LTU registration and the name Drawa. In total, the Polish Army operated 5 An-24 W aircraft.

Antonow An-24 in PLL LOT.

The W version of An-24 planes entered the equipment of PLL LOT in March 1966. Together with the planes provided by the military, there were about 20 of them. They replaced Li-2 and Il-14 planes.

They were operated mainly on domestic lines. At the beginning of 1990. began to be replaced by ATR-42 aircraft. Their final exploitation ended in 1992, and some of the machines were sold.

For almost 26 years, the An-24 W was the primary passenger plane on domestic routes, connecting the following airports; Okęcie, Gdańsk-Wrzeszcz, Gdańsk-Rębiechowo, Balice, Wrocław-Starachowice, Poznań-Ławica, Szczecin-Goleniów, Koszalin-Zegrze Pomorskie, Słupsk, Rzeszów.

The design of the Antonov An-24 aircraft.

The Antonov An-24 was a medium and short-range medium-range transport aircraft. Mainly intended for the transport of people. The crew is 3 - 5 people. As a standard, the crew consists of two pilots, a navigator, a radio operator and an on-board mechanic. On scheduled flights, the crew consists of only two pilots. You can take 44 - 52 passengers on board. A twin-engine high-wing, semi-shell structure. The plane is adapted to be used from ground surfaces.

The wing is five-part, two-spar. The wedge angle is 3 degrees. The outer parts of the wings have a negative lift of 2 degrees. The wings are equipped with flaps and ailerons. The shuttlecocks are made of glass laminate. They are mass-balanced and equipped with balancing tabs. Two-section Fowler graying flaps are hydraulically driven. The inner flaps are single-slot, the outer ones are double-slot. The wings are accompanied by engine nacelles with main landing gear chambers. The leading edges are made as channels through which hot air flows for de-icing the wings.

The fuselage is technologically divided into three main parts. The front part starts with a laminate cover with a honeycomb structure under which the equipment is placed. The crew cabin is designed for 5 crew members; two pilots, a navigator, a radio operator and an on-board mechanic. There is a hatch in the upper part of the crew cabin for emergency lowering of the plane by the crew. Between the crew and passenger cabin there is a luggage compartment, which can also be accessed from outside the plane through a door located on the starboard side. In this part of the plane, there is also a room for the flight attendant, and this is where meals are prepared. The passenger compartment has 44-52 seats in a typical 2 x 2 layout with a central aisle. It was equipped with 16 windows, 8 on each side. There are very few windows and not all passengers could admire the view through the window. Some of these windows are emergency exits. In the rear of the fuselage, on the port side, there is a door through which passengers board. In the tail there is one more luggage room, which can also be accessed through the door on the starboard side. The crew cabin, passenger compartment and luggage compartments are hermetic and air-conditioned.

Classic tail with division into rudders and fins. Horizontal is mounted with a strong rise. Vertical with high influx. The edges of the tail are de-iced with warm air.

Three-support chassis with front wheels. All wheels doubled. The front unit is stowed to the fuselage to the rear. Left-right control, using a hydraulic system. Main landing gear with long legs, retracts forward into compartments located in engine nacelles. The main landing gear covers have large ribs to use as large tires as possible. The covers are closed all the time, and they open only to extend or retract the chassis. This protects the chambers against the ingress of dirt. Oil-gas (nitrogen) shock absorbers located in the shins. The hydraulic system retracts and extends the landing gear, turns the front assembly, brakes the wheels of the main landing gear. Emergency landing gear opening under its own weight.

An-24 W power unit.

Two AI-24 turboprop engines with a capacity of 2 x 1,877 kW (2 x 2,550 HP) or AI-24 A engines with a capacity of 2 x 1,902 kW. They drive four-blade propellers, adjustable and equipped with a de-icing system for both the leading edge of the blades and the cap. 

Iwczenko AI-24. 2021 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman
Iwczenko AI-24. 2021 year. Photo by Karol Placha Hetman

Data T-T An-24 W. 1966 year: 

Span 29.30 m. Length 23.53 m. Height 8.32 m. Wing area 72.46 m2. Curb weight 13 400 - 14 600 kg. Gross weight is 21,000 kg. Maximum weight 24,000 kg. Load weight 5 500 kg. Fuel 5,000 kg. Top speed 490 km / h. Rate of climb 4 m / s. Cruising speed 350 - 450 km / h. Landing speed 160 - 175 km / h. The maximum range is 2,000 - 2,400 km. Range 2,050 km with 2,100 kg load and 550 km with 5,500 kg load. The ceiling is 8,400 m. The run-up is 600 m. The run is 1,500 m. The crew is 5 people.

List of An-24 aircraft in Poland.

Airplanes used in the 36th Special Air Transport Regiment.

1 An-24 W No. 67302801 nb 011 delivered on October 20, 1966. to the state of 36 SPLT in Okęcie. On April 3, 1969. the plane was transferred to PLL LOT, where it received SP-LTO registrations and the proper name Odra.

2 An-24 W No. 67302802 nb 012 delivered on October 20, 1966. to the state of 36 SPLT in Okęcie. On April 3, 1969. the plane was transferred to PLL LOT, where it received SP-LTP registrations and the name Poprad.

3 An-24 W No. 87304504 nb 014 delivered on August 10, 1968. up to 36 SPLT. This specimen served the longest of all An-24 military. On January 29, 1977. was transferred to PLL LOT and received SP-LTZ registration. After some time, he returned to the army, which rebuilt him into a flying command post.

4 An-24 W No. 97305701 nb 011 (re) delivered on December 24, 1969. up to 36 SPLT. On October 10, 1973. was transferred to LOT, where it received SP-LTT registration and the name Noteć.

5 An-24 W No. 97305702 nb 012 (re) delivered on December 24, 1969. up to 36 SPLT. On February 28, 1973 crashed near Goleniów.

Airplanes used in PLL LOT.

1 An-24 W SP-LTA No. 57302203 Purchased in 1966. Flights ended in 1990.

2 An-24 W SP-LTB No. 57302205. Bought in 1966. An attempted abduction to West Germany on January 10, 1981.

3 An-24 W SP-LTC No. 5730220.

4 An-24 W SP-LTD No. 57302209. Delivered in 1966. On November 2, 1988, it had a disaster near Rzeszów. One person was killed.

5 An-24W SP-LTE. On January 24, 1969, the An-24 SP-LTE aircraft was about to land at the Strachowice airport near Wrocław. The crew approached the landing when the weather conditions were below the permissible minimum. The airport informed that the visibility was 800 m, and after a while - only 400 m. The minimum was 1,100 m. The plane touched down a lot in front of the airport. He damaged the railway line on the Wrocław-Wałbrzych route, power poles and several trees. Eventually, the plane stopped in the field. Fortunately, no one was killed and no one was seriously injured. Only pilots were hospitalized. All passengers were transported by the PLL LOT bus to the center of Wrocław. The plane was scrapped and the pilots lost their licenses. The accident was not publicized.

6 An-24 W SP-LTF. It crashed during a collision with a mountain in which 53 people died on April 2, 1969.

7 An-24 W SP-LTG No. 67302504.

8 An-24 W SP-LTH No. 67302505.

9 An-24 W SP-LTJ No. 67302506.

10 An-24 W SP-LTK No. 67302507.

11 An-24 W SP-LTL.

12 An-24 W SP-LTM.

13 An-24 W SP-LTN.

14 An-24 W SP-LTO Odra nr 67302801. Initially military. Look up.

15 An-24 W SP-LTP Poprad nr 67302802. Initially military. Look up. It was still flying in 1992.

16 An-24 W SP-LTR nr 07306008.

17 An-24 W SP-LTS.

18 An-24 W SP-LTT Noteć No. 97305701. Initially military. Look up.

19 An-24 W SP-LTU. On March 26, 1981 crashed when landing in Słupsk. One person was killed.

20 An-24 W SP-LTZ No. 87304504. Military. Look up.

Written by Karol Placha Hetman